16 Shows to Watch After You've Binged Virgin River That Deliver Charming Small-Town Vibes
So you’ve sped through all of Virgin River and you have an Alexandra Breckenridge-size hole in your life – what’s next? Fortunately, there are plenty of other shows out there with stories like Virgin River, including ones that feature starting over in a new place, romance, drama, and more. There are also plenty of options that will provide you with the same background: small towns. Best of all, several of these shows are based on books, because in case you’ve forgotten, Virgin River is based on the book series by Robyn Carr. Building a TV show from a book series not only gives a great foundation but also a jumping-off point to create even more storylines.
Ahead, we’ve picked out the best TV shows to watch after Virgin River and while you not so patiently wait for seasons four and five of the show to arrive on Netflix. Waiting for your favorite show to come back for another season is rough, but when you find a similar series, it helps soften the eternal wait. After the way season three ended, we have a lot of lingering questions for where season four of Virgin River will go, but until then, we’ll be watching these shows like Virgin River to pass the time!
Shows Like Virgin River: Gilmore Girls
More small-town vibes! Gilmore Girls will give you the charming feel of the slow life in a small town with a little less drama. You’ll still get some romance, however, this show is solidly about Lorelai’s (Lauren Graham) relationship with her daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel).
Shows Like Virgin River: The Resident
If you’re looking to lean into the medical aspect of Virgin River, you should check out The Resident. While it’s definitely not a small-town clinic with just one doctor and one nurse, it is still heavy on the medical mysteries and drama.
Shows Like Virgin River: Schitt's Creek
Small town: check. Starting a new life somewhere else: check. Romance and drama: check and check. Schitt’s Creek may not jump out at you as something to watch after Virgin River, but not only does it have some of the same core aspects of the show, but it’ll also lighten your mood after the heaviness that is Virgin River.
Shows Like Virgin River: A Million Little Things
A Million Little Things will make you feel absolutely everything. Though it’s a story that focuses on friendship, there is still some romance and drama. It’s the drama that feels reminiscent of Virgin River for sure.
Shows Like Virgin River: Northern Rescue
In another show about starting over, Northern Rescue features a dad (Billy Baldwin) who relocates to his small hometown after his wife dies. It plays up a lot of the same aspects as Virgin River, except for the fact that John has kids whom he moves with him.
Shows Like Virgin River: Call the Midwife
This British show, which takes place in the 1950s, follows a midwife who joins a group of nurses who are also nuns. While she initially thinks she’s joining a hospital, it turns out she’s joining a convent. The touching show not only focuses on the midwifery but also the close bonds formed among all the women, much like the journey Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) is on when she comes to Virgin River to become a nurse. Viewers will see plenty of parallels in their stories despite the different locale and time period. Both women find themselves in new communities that they eventually fall in love with.
Shows Like Virgin River: Chesapeake Shores
Based on the book series by Sherryl Woods, Hallmark show Chesapeake Shores tells the story of a woman who leaves her small town behind for New York City. However, she eventually finds herself back in the small town of Chesapeake Shores trying to figure out where to go from here and whether or not she should stay. Much like Virgin River, it’s a story of feeling drawn to a small town and all its charm. As a town, Chesapeake Shores has much homier vibes than Virgin River, but the pull to build a life there is prominent in both towns.
Shows Like Virgin River: Firefly Lane
Firefly Lane is based on the book of the same name by Kristin Hannah. In this Netflix show, Tully (Katherine Heigl) and Kate (Sarah Chalke) have been best friends since they were children. They grow up and manage to stay tight, despite the wildly different directions their lives have taken them. At the root of the show is their bond and their ability to have each other’s backs through everything, which feels reminiscent of the close bonds Mel forms with those she meets in Virgin River upon her arrival. And though Firefly Lane doesn’t take place in a small town at all, it still has the same charming vibes.
Shows Like Virgin River: Outlander
Outlander is the period romance to end all period romances. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) finds herself going back in time to the 1700s where she meets and falls in love with Jamie (Sam Heughan), a Scot. The intense story, based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon, depicts Claire’s steamy romance with Jamie, spliced in with her emotions over being torn away from her husband in her own time. For viewers craving more romance à la Mel and Jack, you can’t go wrong with firing up Outlander and falling into this romantic story. Jamie and Claire might be a bit more intense, but love is love.
Shows Like Virgin River: Dawson's Creek
Throw it back to the 1990s for a little bit of Dawson’s Creek. The coming-of-age story focuses on a group of teens in the small town of Capeside, Massachusetts. There’s love, there’s heartbreak, there’s betrayal, and everything else teenagers could possibly go through while growing up. It’s a show that feels like it could be a precursor to Virgin River – small-town community that’s incredibly tight knit where everyone knows everything. The cast is also full of big names including Katie Holmes, James Van Der Beek, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams, and Busy Philipps. Plus, Jen Lindley (Williams) feels a bit like Mel in that she moves to the small town from the big city.
Shows Like Virgin River: Everwood
Everwood is set in a small town in the mountains, so of course it’s full of beautiful scenery just like Virgin River. It tells the story of a family who relocate to the small town after a death so they can have a fresh start. Sound familiar? There’s more: Dr. Andrew Brown (Treat Williams) is also a doctor who leaves his practice in Manhattan to move to said small town. He brings his children along to start a new life, and what follows is a touching story of trying to find a fresh start while still keeping your heart open to the life you once had.
Shows Like Virgin River: When Calls the Heart
This is a trip back in time, but When Calls the Heart is also about a woman who leaves her life behind to start anew. It also takes place on the picturesque West Coast and has that small-town feel. This story features a woman named Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) who is a teacher and is assigned a post in a tiny coal-mining town. There’s a bit of unrest in the town after a huge mining accident kills several peopl, and not all the townspeople are welcoming to Elizabeth. However, she refuses to back down and tries her best to make the community her own over the course of time.
Shows Like Virgin River: This Is Us
This Is Us weaves together different storylines featuring romance, friendship, and familial relationships. The deeply emotional show will make you feel a lot of the same feelings as Virgin River. It highlights a mom (Mandy Moore) and her three grown children (Justin Hartley, Sterling K. Brown, and Chrissy Metz) while also flashing back to their childhoods when their dad was still alive (Milo Ventimiglia). It’s a raw and real look at the struggles of growing up, growing apart, dealing with race and public perception, and so much more. Virgin River fans will fall headfirst in love with this tearjerker. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you that you’ll be completely in your feelings with this one.
Shows Like Virgin River: Sweet Magnolias
Sweet Magnolias is definitely heavier on the friendship side than the romance side, but these women’s lives in the South will still feel reminiscent of Virgin River. Both shows also have a very Hallmark-esque feel to them – despite neither being from Hallmark! The two Netflix shows feel quaint and charming even though they take place in wildly different locales, but what really makes these shows similar is the strong female leads. Both Virgin River and Sweet Magnolias star women at the forefront doing big things and excelling at it. These are great stories of female empowerment for anyone to watch.
Shows Like Virgin River: Heartland
Heartland is another show that will give you small-town vibes, as well as an outdoorsy feel. Just like Virgin River features a lot of picturesque scenery, so does Heartland, plus it offers some of the same drama and romance. The Canadian TV show, based on the books by Lauren Brooke, is the story of sisters who live on a ranch in Canada known as the Heartland with their grandfather and father, along with their ranch hand. Over the years, they experience everything life throws at them – the ups and downs of growing up and growing closer together as a family.
Shows Like Virgin River: Hart of Dixie
If you love Virgin River‘s storyline about a big-city girl moving to a small town, you’ll get those same essence from Hart of Dixie. Zoe (Rachel Bilson) finds herself in a small town – also at a medical practice. Zoe’s decided to slow things down a bit when she accepts a job offer to move to a medical practice in a tiny town, but what she doesn’t realise is that the man who offered her the job actually willed her half of his practice when he died – something her new partner isn’t amused about. Sounds a bit like Doc’s (Tim Matheson) reluctance to welcome Mel into his practice in Virgin River, no?